Wednesday, October 19, 2022
HomeInsurance175-year-old Limestone Company shares secrets and techniques to longevity

175-year-old Limestone Company shares secrets and techniques to longevity

Limestone Company is celebrating its one hundred and seventy fifth yr in enterprise this yr. Kentucky’s oldest unbiased insurance coverage company, it was based by William Hoffman as Hoffman’s Insurance coverage Company in downtown Mt. Sterling in 1847.

Immediately, Limestone is a homegrown unbiased company backed by Keystone Insurers Group. It proudly provides private insurance coverage, enterprise insurance coverage, farm insurance coverage, life and medical insurance, and group advantages with an area, hometown contact. The company is headed by the founder’s great-great grandson, J. Miller Hoffman (pictured on the proper), and his enterprise companion, Ray Robertson (pictured on the left).

“Limestone could be very a lot an establishment,” mentioned Robertson, who focuses on private and industrial strains. A local of Bethel, Kentucky, Robertson has been within the insurance coverage trade for over 36 years. Even earlier than becoming a member of Limestone in 1993, he already had a private reference to the company.

“I grew up on a farm 15 or so miles from right here. My mother and father have been insured with Lewis Greene, an company that merged with Hoffman [Insurance Agency],” Robertson shared.

Robertson finally purchased Greene’s curiosity within the company, whereas a 3rd stakeholder bought his curiosity to Robertson and Hoffman. The companions shaped Hoffman-Robertson, Inc. in 2006. Two years later, a merger with the McClure-Hill-Case company in Paris, Kentucky was accomplished, creating a brand new entity: Limestone Company.

‘No account too small’

A small operation permits Limestone to totally personalize their companies and deal with their shoppers the best way they need to be taken care of. “We attempt to be empathetic. No account is just too small as a result of it’s not small in [the client’s] eyes. You by no means know, with a small account, what it may flip into,” mentioned Hoffman.

Over time, the company has nurtured long-running relationships with native companies by pursuing its mission: to assist defend their neighborhood by complete insurance coverage protection and superior customer support.

“One account we’ve not too long ago renewed is a enterprise that began with two guys and a pickup truck. We’ve had that relationship for 21 years. Now it’s certainly one of our high accounts,” Robertson shared. “We had some competitors, however he stayed with us although we charged the next value as a result of he knew he may belief our service. He knew we gave him good recommendation, and he likes the folks that he is handled in our company.”

One other key to Limestone’s success is its workforce. Between two places – downtown Mt. Sterling and downtown Paris – Limestone averages 15 staff, a lot of whom have been employed for greater than 10 years. However unbiased companies have additionally been caught within the insurance coverage trade’s fierce conflict for expertise.

“We have all the time had good luck with our staff, even having one worker that stayed with us over 50 years. However it’s modified just a little bit,” Hoffman admitted. “There’s a variety of competitors for expertise today, and we have misplaced a few good staff final yr. However we now have a few new younger superstars in coaching.”

Development in a altering world

For a lot of insurance coverage companies at present, consolidation has been the secret. Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) have accelerated globally in the previous few years, with the US main exercise within the 2021.

However for companies like Limestone which are deeply rooted in neighborhood, company consolidation poses a problem. Smaller companies compete with bigger ones that may provide higher costs, and insurance coverage patrons are totally different than they have been a couple of years in the past. Amid a tough market, shoppers have grown more and more value delicate.

“We attempt to be sincere and easy with our shoppers about discovering the proper [insurance] firm and protection. Generally they get bought poor-quality merchandise or do not get the safety that they want. Persons are pinching pennies, and we’re feeling {that a} bit,” Robertson admitted.

Learn extra: International M&A off to a robust begin in 2022 – report

For Hoffman, nonetheless, service rooted in care, integrity and empathy will all the time win loyal shoppers. “We do not deal with insurance coverage like a commodity. I all the time say that it isn’t our job to get you the perfect value. Our job to verify your protection is true, then we’ll work on price,” he informed Insurance coverage Enterprise.

However Limestone Company doesn’t intend to stay caught prior to now. “We’re on Fb, we now have billboards, we’re performing some issues that we weren’t doing 15 or 20 years in the past to maintain our title and picture in entrance of everyone,” Robertson mentioned.

“We’re very concerned within the insurance coverage market in Kentucky, with Brokers’ Affiliation, in addition to with our native communities. Hopefully, we’re doing the proper factor to maintain attracting enterprise.”



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